The sin-eaters

I eat the sins of others. I swallow them whole. I do so that the anguish caused by those trespasses might be borne by me. I do not pardon the penalties for the sins, of course. How could I? Is it not known that the penalty for sin is death? I am no murderer, no agent of expiation. Redemption must be sought elsewhere. Fearless, though, and guiltless, as the crimes are not mine, I believe that I can eat the sins of the culpable, devour them inviolate, undiluted, diminishing the consequences to the erring by embracing those outcomes to myself, my ransom but another gauntlet away, another battle waged and won, another foe subdued. The gauntlets were after all but mine alone to run. As destiny may not be coerced, cajoled, or counted on, how else were I to eat the sins of others? There is no guilt without sin, no sin without offence. But offence wrongly taken may not be made justified, rendering nil the sin, rendering the offence controvertible. This is where we enter, we, the eaters of sin, equivocal. Dauntless in the fight, defying all hypocrisy, knights errant on errands of destiny, vigilantes, rectifying, delivering retribution where all other justice is duplicity.